Louise has worked at national and international levels for over 30 years in organisations dedicated to excellent science, enabling a healthier society and driving economic prosperity. As a senior civil servant she held roles in strategic leadership, operational delivery and policy-making including as Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Deputy CEO of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Previously, Louise held several roles in DHSC’s Research and Development (R&D) directorate, including Deputy Director leading on relations with the life sciences industry, and subsequently for research infrastructure in the NHS and partner universities to support delivery of ground-breaking research to improve patient care and population health and cement the UK's reputation as a leading international centre for healthcare research and science. She spent a year on secondment at the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) as its Director of Policy and Public Affairs.

Her early career was in drug safety at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, with four years membership of the Agency's Executive Board as Director of the General Practice Research Database.

Louise has served as a Council Member for the Medical Research Council and member of Advisory Boards for the British Heart Foundation, LifeArc and Wellcome. She was elected an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in 2011 and awarded a CBE for services to health research in the 2019.

She has an honours degree in physiology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in biomedical science from the University of London.

Louise Wood headshot